Controlling Commercial Sprawl Into Rural Landscapes
Summary Flyer: What the Keep It Rural Coalition is All About
It started with a proposal for a gas station and convenience store at the corner of beautiful Miccosukee and Crump Road. This proposal unearthed long unused rules in the land use policies of Leon County. We all soon discovered that these policies and the regulations that implement them allowed a lot more commercial development in the rural areas than anyone, including the County Commissioners, County staff, Planning Staff, residents, everyone! want.
So now the Keep It Rural Coalition is doing many things! We’re trying to stop the proposed gas station AND bring rational land use policies to Leon County so that the rural areas remain rural. We’re educating ourselves, Commissioners, staff and Leon County residents.
Miccosukee and Crump – where it began!
Miccosukee Road is an old canopy road with huge trees forming a beautiful canopy along its entire length. At the Crump and Miccosukee intersection sits at the end of the eight mile long Miccosukee Greenway – a beautiful rural park that connects into the City of Tallahassee, many miles away. Along Crump Road are crop fields, horse farms, sod farms, houses on lots of acres and miles of frontage of the Welaunee Plantation pine forest.
From a rural landscape to an urban one – NOT WANTED HERE!
A permit for a large gas station and convenience store near the intersection of Crump and Miccosukee Roads in Leon County was approved May 8! This proposed development for a gas station is the first and only one that has been submitted for permitting in the rural area since the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan in 1992. The design is for a large station with seven pumps and a 3000 square foot convenience store. In addition, there is an impervious area exceeding 26,000 sq. ft. – more than half an acre of asphalt and pavement!
Commercial Development could be built all over rural Leon County if this permit isn’t stopped right now!
The Impact of the Decision
If this station’s permit is not challenged and appealed, there are over one hundred other rural intersections in Leon County where this sort of unwanted and large commercial development could be built. This permit will set a precedent, paving the way for other developers to change, even destroy, the nature of our county’s rural landscape. Each of these dots represents a spot that could be commercially developed under our current Comprehensive Plan.
Green = 10,000 sq ft – intersections of local and major roads
Commercial development is allowed at any intersection of a local road along the major roads (aka “arterials”):
Meridian, Thomasville, Centerville, Miccosukee, Mahan, Appalachee Parkway, Tram, Woodville Highway, Crawfordville, Blounstown and North Monroe. Most of these intersections are not shown on the road because there are so many of them!
Blue = 20,000 sq ft allowed – intersections of minor and major roads
“connectors” & “arterials” such as Crump & Roberts, Crump & Miccosukee, Crump & Appalachee, Miccosukee & Iamonia Lake, etc.
Pink = 50,000 sq ft allowed – intersections edge of rural area
In the “urban fringe” area which is sandwiched between the suburban neighborhoods and rural lands such as Mahan & Crump, Centerville & Bradfordville & Roberts
There are over 50 local road intersections with Meridan, Thomasville
Red = Rural Communities: Woodville, Fort Braden, Miccosukee, Chaires. This is where small scale commercial development belongs, in the rural communities where folks congregate naturally.
The very spot where the Crump Road gas station would reside is sacred farm land. The humble house of Adlai Stevenson “Jack” Crump sits on this property. Crump Road was named after Jack’s grandfather, Guy Crump. The proposed site is also within five hundred feet of the Miccosukee Canopy Road–one of Leon County’s treasured jewels and natural wonders. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere in our county. Citizens countywide must band together and not allow this to happen.
Keep It Rural is here to fight and protect
As soon as this business proposal began its permitting process, Keep it Rural organizers activated the community, packed the hearings, held rallies, informed the press, connected our Leon County commissioners and the county’s permitting staff. We printed fliers, petitioned neighbors, and spread the word. The response has been overwhelmingly powerful.
But we have exhausted this route of speaking out, protesting and talking to officials. They made the decision to permit the development in spite our of arguments and concerns. So now the permit has to be challenged through the legal hearing process that Leon County has established.
Now is the time for even more conviction!
One of our neighbors has started the legal process by filing a petition which allows the decision to be reconsidered. This neighbor needs our help because this is now the only way to stop this gas station and the precedent it will set of allowing commercial development all over the rural area.
Your Keep it Rural organizers (a core group of a half-dozen average citizens) have personally contributed over $10,000 to support the appeal, but much more is needed. We have retained a well known and experienced land use attorney, and we have filed the initial appeal. We need your support. Documents, forms, filings, and deadlines must be done exactly as required by law. Expert witnesses will be necessary to dispute the county staff’s interpretation and application of law. All of this comes with a price, and the process is extensive. It involves rulings by a Special Master (similar to an Administrative Judge) , the Board of County Commissioners (BCC), and possibly the Circuit court. All of these are separate hearings. That’s why Keep it Rural is asking you to pitch in and save the sacred nature of our rural landscape.
Contribute what you can!
Send and make checks out to:
Keep It Rural
9601-54 Miccosukee Road
Tallahassee, FL 32309